2. Compare and contrast the situation of a feudal sharecropper in
the post-bellum South with a wage-laborer who participates in the capitalist
fundamental class process in the United States today. First, define
each fundamental class process in purely theoretical terms. Second, distinguish
from wage-labor based on these categories. Finally, discuss why it is important
to make these distinctions.
3. In the conclusion to “Ambiguous Capital II” Gabriel
suggests that, “firms in the ‘West’
and ‘East’ should look at the
problems in the SOE sector in China and count their blessings.” Reflect
on this statement by summarizing the difficulties of transforming the SOE
sector in China (from one variant of capitalism to a different variant).
In what ways might the competitive success of the TVEs
4. How might the communal class process encourage more
democratic political processes and equitable social outcomes? In the overdeterminist
Marxian approach, why is it important to conceptually de-link class, cultural,
political and natural processes from each other?
5. Are communal social formations subject to crisis? Use
a post-structural Marxist interpretation of either Cahokian or Chakoan
society, or farm collectives in the USSR, to answer this question.
6. Even though the USSR was characterized by 1) state
ownership of property, and 2) a political
system controlled by the revolutionary workers’ party, Wolff &
Resnick argue that the USSR cannot be broadly considered a social experiment
in communism. How do they make this argument? Revolve your essay around
a discussion of Soviet agriculture, industry, or households (or any combination
7. In what ways has the trend toward the “creation of a local market
for management control” among town-village enterprises in China threatened
the survival of the state-owned enterprises? What can this teach us about
the way in which changes in the owner-management
relationship can affect the competitiveness of firms?